Punto drives Fiat recovery
27 March 2006

Fiat's new Punto is showing early signs of achieving its goal - turning round the company's flagging fortunes.

Fiat Group, which comprises Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Lancia, saw its slice of the European car market rise by over 11 per cent in February. It's the biggest share for the troubled Italian giant since February 2002, and analysts are putting the success down to the new baby hatchback. 'Fiat is benefiting from the full availability of the Grande Punto,' wrote Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas.

By contrast, Renault is going through a tough period as the firm's boss Carlos Ghosn tries to stop dealers from offering too many incentives. The result was a 5.7 per cent drop in its sales in February.

Other losers in the sales story included Ford (down 2.6 per cent), Jaguar (down 19.7 per cent) and Hyundai (down 4.4 per cent). But Volkswagen saw its share rise by 15.2 per cent.

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